Sunday, December 17, 2006

Toy Runs and Charity Rides

Been busy this month, doing the rounds of the charity rides and toy runs. My yearly contribution to those less fortunate and a worthy cause. The local rescue helicopter.

First up there was the Wellington toy run orgenised by the local HOG boys. There was a pretty good turn out for the short run down the motorway through Petone and onto Queens Wharf.

The next weekend we were off to Himatangi for the start of the Coast to Coast. Raising money for the rescue helicopter. The weather was a bit damp and by the time we reached Woodville for lunch everyone was wet. Alot went home after lunch but about 200 hardy souls made the trip out to Akitio. It had dried out a bit by home time so got to have a blast back from Weber to Dannevirke.

Then yesterday it was the local toy run organised by the Central Districts Motorcycle Touring Club. Probably about 200 bikes turned up for the run from Feilding through the back roads to Palmy for a sausage and beer at the Awapuni Pub.

All in all a good month for some fun a hanging out with other motorcycling types.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


Another nice day in the Manawatu today - you'd almost think that it was summer!

A good day for the local toy run organised by the Central Districts Motorcycle Touring Club.

The ride was a quiet ride from Feilding to Palmerston North via some back roads. A much better turnout this year so hopefully a lot of decent toys for Barnardos.

More pics here.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

2007 Rusty Nuts Grand Challenge (1000 Miler)

To celebrate the 21st Grand Challenge, the Rusty's have added an optional extension to the 2007 ride. As long as you have completed a past run you can choose to do this extension and get a second badge if successful. To get the second badge you must complete a further 500k's while still staying within the 1st 24 hour period.

A really big ask! It means that you would have to do the first 1600k's in about 18 hours or you wouldn't have a chance of finishing the next 500. As I usually do the run in a comfortable 20-21 hours I'm not sure if it's worth giving it a go - there'll be no time for any mucking around!

Monday, December 11, 2006

2006 Coast to Coast

Been a bit lazy not to get onto this sooner but last Saturday (9/12) was the 14th running of the Woodville Lions Coast to Coast. This ride takes riders from the west coast to the east, starting at Himatangi and ending at Akito with the aim to raise money for the local rescue helicopter.

Prior to the ride the weather forecast looked pretty bad but come Saturday morning things had fined up quite a bit. We pottered out to Himatangi and registered pretty early. Ran into a couple of guys I know - one who I generally only see once a year - on the Coast to Coast.

Just before arriving in Fielding we got hit by the first of the rain - a pretty good dousing. Stopped here for fuel so that I wouldn't have to be one of 400 getting it at Woodville before heading out into the wops.

After lunch at Woodville and looking at the skies out to the East we decided that wet weather gear was probably a good idea and then headed off into it. Had to put up with quite a few downpours and some slippery roads but got out there ok and grabbed a coffee and some hot tucker. Hung around for most of the prize giving but decided to scarper before the finish so as we didn't get caught up in the rush when everyone left.

Had a great ride back into Danniverke (love that Danniverke-Weber road) with roads mostly dry with the ocassional damp spot. Stopped there so Mark could gas up before heading home. Good to get another badge and also good to see a lot less idiots on the ride trying to take everyone out.

More pictures here.

Manawatu Standard article here.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Wellington Toy Run

Went down to Wellington on Saturday with Mark and Brian to take part in the Wellington toy run.

The organisers were really lucky to pick the best day weather wise that we've had in a long time. Had a good ride down and got there pretty early, signed in and went off to enjoy a free coffee and sausage sizzle.

One of the organisers was a really friendly sort and was handing out hats, beenies, drink bottles etc flat out.

The ride was organised by the Wellington HOGG chapter so the 3 Suzys were outnumbered by the Harley guys. Must have been over 200 bikes. The ride headed up the motorway, down through the Nauranga Gorge, out to Petone and then back into Queens Wharf where we all parked up and there was going to be a judging of bikes etc.

We didn't hang around for the judging, instead heading off to Porirua for some lunch before heading home. Good ride home, got to give the bike the odd squirt here and there.

Next ride on the Calendar is the Coast to Coast - 9 December, then our local toy run on 16th December. Not sure when the Wanganui Toy Run is on but will try and hit that one too.

More pictures here.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

New Muffler

Now you can hear the bike!

I've finally got my old Promuff muffler fitted to the new bike. The muffler had done approx 30,000 k's on the old K2 so Brendan (who made the muffler originally) took it apart and repacked it. Because the K6 muffler was not a slip on like on the K2 it meant that Brendan had to modify the inlet side of the muffler and then weld it to the pipe coming from the collector under the motor.

As you can see from the picture he has made a really good job of it and it looks like it's been there from the factory.

The bike sounds great - just like the old one. Haven't had a chance to go for a decent ride yet (windy as hell still) but have got a toy run to do next weekend - a good chance to see how the bike goes with the new muffler.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

You can find some interesting things on the net. Check out this site, here's a few links to some articles that caught my eye:

Kawasaki Concours 14

Looks interesting - should be a good mile muncher.


Yeah Baby!

Yamaha V-Max prototype

BMW V-12

Goldwing Tow-truck!

Burt Munro Challenge

Had an update (over a bad cell phone connection) from Invercargill last night. The old man had made it down after battling some extremely high winds and some rain. He reckons that at one stage when he was heading into the wind the Beemer wouldn't pull top gear at 100k's (pretty tall 6th gear). Must be time he got another big Suzi.

The weather forecast for today wasn't that flash either but he and his mates were going to head off to the beach racing anyway. Not really the sort of weather for sitting on a beach - hope the weather improves.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Burt Munro Challenge

I had a house guest on Tuesday night - my old man on his way south for the Burt Munro Challenge - lucky sod. This is a bike rally being held in Burt Munro's home town of Invercargil to celebrate Burt Munroe's achievements and the movie 'The Fastest Indian'.

There's going to be beach racing, street racing, endurance racing and speedway along with a bike rally and a special showing of 'The Fastest Indian'

Find out more here:

And more abour Burt Munro here:

Rossi's Rally

Valentino Rossi had a great 2nd Rally in the Rally of New Zealand. He finished in 11th place - far better than the DNF in his first rally. More info at the links below:,,10111~930397,00.html

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Rossi in Rally New Zealand

The best bike rider in the world, Valentino Rossi, is in New Zealand competing in the Rally of New Zealand. He's swapped his Yamaha for a Subaru Impressa but has kept his racing number - 46.

This link takes you to an article on his arrival in NZ:,2106,3860760a13275,00.html

And this one has the latest rally update:,2106,3865585a13275,00.html

It's a little out of date though as the news on TV tonight had him listed as being in 14th place - go The Doctor!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Save the Planet - Ride a Bike

There's been a heap of stuff on the box about how we've gotta start looking after the planet, stop our reliance on fossil fuels etc. The greenies and the government are telling us to get rid of our guzzling cars etc and use public transport.

I've yet to see any of them mention anything about bikes. They only ever mention them when some idiot's written himself off while being chased by the cops or something. They never mention that they are a relatively cheap means of transport (esp fuel wise) and that they take up less space on the roads and in car parks.

When are they going to drop the price of bike registration and maybe change the rules on this with regards to engine capacity. Currently it cost you the same to register anything over 49cc regardless of whether it's a scooter or not.

They should definitely raise the capacity limit to at least 250cc to help encourage more learners out there. It would also mean that some of the larger 4 stroke scooters would cost the same as a 49cc 2 stroke to register - no smoke and probably better economy. I'd probably consider a 250 to go to work on etc. It'd save the tyres on the Bandit as well. While they're at it they could also look at allowing larger capacity (but tame) bikes in as learner bikes like they do in some states in Oz.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Website Update

Nothing on the Boob tube tonight (surprise, surprise) so I've been playing. There's a few small updates to some of the pages plus a new page showing the gear I wear/take with me on my travels. Planned Rides page also updated.

Bike Shops

Well, the weather's been a bit crap since I've been back from the 4 Points ride so not much riding has been done lately - just a quite ride this arvo, out in the wind and rain.

Recently there has been a lot of articles/letters to the Editor in the bike mags I get regarding service or lack of it in some bike shops. They tend to follow the same story - guy goes into buy a bike and is treated pretty shabbily. The sales people seem uninterested and expect the custeomer to buy the bike rather than the salesman have to put in some effort to sell them.

Blackbird Hunting

This has pretty much been my experience this year when I was out looking for a new bike. Firstly, I was considering a Honda Blackbird as the Honda "Red Carpet" dealers supposedly had a good deal on them. I went into one dealer who had a 2nd hand one there which I was able to test ride (enjoyed that) but new ones were not available at that time. The dealer said that trading my Bandit would be no problems and that he would get a hold of me when he new the bikes were coming in - I'm still waiting.

After this I did some web browsing to see if I could find one anywhere. I found a few advertised on websites so I filled in an online form for one dealer and fired it off - haven't heard anything from them.

Then one fine Saturday I decided to head off to the above shop and also checkout a few others if necessary. Firstly I went to the local Palmerston North Honda dealer to see if they had one and seeing as no one could be bothered even saying gidday (the usual response at this shop - think you need to ride a Harley) I didn't ask them about Blackbird availibility.

Off I went to Masterton to the shop where I'd seen a Blackbird on their website. They were flat out on a Saturday morning (good - people were being served) and did not have a Blackbird in the showroom so I carried on down to Wellington. At the Honda dealer in the Hutt there was no Blackbirds and the salesman was busy talking to a mate. I could have waited and maybe talked to someone but I as I hadn't even got a "Can I help you" or "Be with you in a minute", I couldn't be bothered.

Off I went again and headed into Wellington to check out Wellington Motorcycles (Suzuki, Triumph, Hardley Dangerous) just for a nosy. Spent a bit of time looking at the bikes and it wasn't long before a salesman came up to me and started chatting. He listened to what I was saying, wasn't pushy and naturally suggested a Hayabusa. I went off home with his card, impressed with this shop and annoyed by the others.

Enter the new model Bandit

A few weeks after this I found details on the new model Bandit (K6) and thought that maybe I should consider upgrading to one (a lot cheaper than a Blackbird). Also, Mark was looking to replace his written off 750 and he liked my K2 Bandit and was keen on the new one. Great, we'll be able to get a good deal if we buy them together! Off we went to the local Suzuki shop we're I've bought my last 2 new Suzukis and spent thousands over the years.

Recently this business has changed hands and I did not know the salesman. He initially was very keen to do a deal on 2 bikes, offering a reasonable discount. Then I mentioned that I had a bike to trade - whoops who said a dirty word! Not interested at all in trading (even when I mentioned my previous 2 bikes came out of his shop) but he would be happy to sell it on behalf (and take probably 20%) or advertise it on Trade Me etc. He lost me straight away - out walked to potential bike sales. (Two weeks later I spotted a second hand Bandit in there - can't have been a trade?) The way this place has gone down hill is a shame as I still deal with the parts and service guys who do know about customer service...

As it was still early we decided to pop down to Wellington and see the guy I'd talked to a few weeks back. When we got there they were absolutely flat out - people everywhere going for test rides, buying bikes and bits etc. We saw a guy who wanted a bike but didn't know what one (money in pocket for a toy but no idea) being listened to by a salesman and pointed at a few models, telling riding stories etc before the guy left (thanking the salesman as he went). A good salesman in action.

We ended up talking to this salesman and he was very good, showed us luggage catalogs etc and didn't bat an eye when I mentioned I had a trade. As the new Bandits hadn't even landed yet we left with more cards and left our phone numbers etc. The rest is history: the bikes turned up, a very good deal was done and 2 guys are very happy with their bikes and the service they got - shame we had to go out of town to do it. We'd even go back there for services but it's a bit awkward due to the distance and work comittments etc.

Another lost sale

The story doesn't end with Mark and I - recently another mate went looking at bikes. He hasn't had one for a little while but was keen to look at a new GSX1400 (it would have been his 2nd one) for the summer.

Off he went to the local and started looking at the 1400 in the shop. After 5 mins or so of looking it over and the salesmen still hadn't put down their coffees and pulled themselves off their couch to talk to him, he walked out of the shop, down to the local Ford dealer and bought a V8...

How many sales can these guys afford to miss?

Saturday, October 28, 2006

4 Points Compass Rally

Had the final prize giving for the Manawatu Ulysees 4 Points Rally tonight. Received my badge and also was lucky enough to win an autographed shirt.

I've also updated my website with a write up on this event, see it here.

I've also been uploading quite a few of my photos to my Picasa Web Albums here.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Website Update

Have added a brief write up on the 1000 Miler. Also updated a few other pages. Story on the 4 Points Compass Rally still to come, prize giving etc being held on Saturday night. My poker hand is crap so far - can't see how I'll come away with anything other than my badge.

See my website here.

It's good having a week off - makes it easier to mess around with stuff like this...

Monday, October 23, 2006

Grand Challenge (1000 Miler) and 4 Points Photos

I haven't as yet had time to write up a bit of blab on the 2 rides yet but I've uploaded the photos taken on the rides (only small size). Most haven't even got decent captions yet - will get there one day.

I've also created a spreadsheet which shows distances, times, fuel economy etc of my Bandit over the two rides combined. See it here.

Monday, October 16, 2006

2006 Thousand Miler - DONE!!

Back from the 1000 miler. My arse won't mind if it's another year until the next one. It was toughter than last year, more slow twisty back roads. Made it hard to cover ground quickly. It seemed to take a long time to get to the halfway point. The second half was more open and it felt like we were getting somewhere. Finally finished just after 12:00pm. Only 21 hours after starting. 1638km's completed.

Last night after we finished I wasn't too fussed if I never rode again, but after a rest most of my enthusiasm has returned!

Got to ride through pretty much every type of weather, hot sun, rain, fog etc.

Bike went well, definately more comfortable than the 750 from last year.

Bike is in getting serviced at the moment, off on the Manawatu Ulysees 4 Points Compass Rally tomorrow.

Got a week off work, YEAH BABY.

2006 Rusty Nut's 1000 Miler

It' Monday afternoon and we're just back from completing the 1000 miler, the bikes are in the shop being serviced and having tyres fitted for the next ride (the Manawatu Ulysees 4 Points Compass Rally).

The ride was good but tougher than the previous 4 that I've done - there were 3 sections in particular where we took to back roads which were tight in places and tricky in the dark. Also, it was very windy in places and we struck some rain and even fog.

All said though we did it quite comfortably in 21 hours and had a lot of fun in places. When I'm back from the 4 Points Compass Ride I'll right up a bit more of a story and stick it on my website.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

1000 Miler Preparations

With only a few days before the ride, preparations are well under way. The bikes been cleaned and polished and had the once over - tyre pressures ok, chain ok, oil okay, sheepskin on etc. Because we are also doing the Manawatu Ulysees 4 Points Compass Rally (see Planned Rides on my website) in the week after the 1000 Miler, the bike is booked in for a service the Monday after the 1000 Miler and a new rear tyre ordered. All that's required now is to pack what little gear I need for the 1000 Miler into the top box and I'm off.

Our plan of attack so far is:
  • Friday 13th Oct: travel up to Turangi and park up for a quite night (and hopefully a decent sleep).
  • Saturday 14th-15th: Complete the ride and stay the Sunday night again in Turangi.
  • Monday 16th: Return early to Palmerston North and get the bikes serviced.
  • Tuesday 17th: Head off on the 4 Points. Will hit the Lake Ferry checkpoint first and then head up the East Coast - Far North - West Coast and then back to Palmy probably by the following Sunday or Monday. No rush for this one.
  • Saturday 28th Oct: Finish date of the ride/prize giving etc.

All up will probably do close to 5,000 k's in just over a week - not too shaby. Will stick some updates on this blog plus probably a write up & photos on the website.

Friday, October 06, 2006

More on the K7 Suzuki's

Just checked out the Suzuki NZ site and you'll find a little bit more on a few of the 2007 models:

Looks like April 2007 for the new Bandit. 650 gets a new motor too.

B-King looks pretty radical - wonder if it's still got a supercharged version of the 'Busa motor like the concept bike had...

More here on both B-King and Bandit:



Tuesday, October 03, 2006

2006 Coast to Coast

Just found out Woodville Lions Club Coast to Coast is on the 9th of December. This is a fun fund raiser for the rescue helicopter. It leaves from Himatangi Beach has a lunch stop in Woodville then heads out to Akitio for a prize giving and a knees up.

A good chance to ride with about 500 other bikers and raise some money for a good cause.

See ya there.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Website Update

Added a page with up and coming rides I plan to do. Will update with more (eg Xmas toy runs etc) when I get more information.

See it here

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Sunday Arvo

After reading about the new K7 Bandit on the web this morning, I thought that maybe I should put some more k's on my K6 before I talked too much about changing it. Excellant conditions: warm with a bit of cloud cover, no wind, not too hot or cold.

I decided to head up over the Saddle Road to Woodville and then on through to Pahiatua before coming back to Palmy over the Pahiatua track.

The Saddle road is a real mess! On the Ashurst side there is shingle and stones all over the road. No signposts to warn you either - look out if you are heading over there. Woodville side not too bad.

The picture (taken on another day from Whariti) shows the Te Apiti wind farm and the Saddle road passes this where you can see the second, smaller clump of trees and a few buildings. Always impressed by the big windmills turning over making power from nothing - not a lot of wind today though.

The ride back over the Pahiatua track was pretty uneventful - some huge potholes at the bottom of the hill but this is pretty normal - the trucks give the road death. Only saw one other guy out on a bike - a GSX-R600/750/1000 flashed past going the other way as I dropped back down the other side of the hill.

A nice quite little sunday afternoon ride - back to work tomorrow :-(

New K7 Bandit 1250

Damnation! I bought my new K6 in April and now there's a new model already.

As you can see from the picture, the styling has not changed but the big change is the heart - a brand new 1250cc liquid-cooled and finally fuel-injected 4 cylinder lump. Sounds good - has to mean even more ergs...

And I was planning to keep my one for a few years yet. What am I gonna do? At least my luggage system and seat cover should fit on easily.

More info on the new one below:

Saturday, September 30, 2006


Bring on the 1000 miler. Been waiting a whole year for it to roll around. Should be good, can't wait. Hopefully the rain gods are kind to us.

1000 Miler Preparations

Two weeks out from the Rusty Nut's 1000 miler and more preparations have been made in the purchase of sheepskin seat cover - gotta do what you can to look after the bum on long rides!

This was custom made at Sheepskin Sales, Otaki approximately 80km south of Palmerston North. This is the second seat cover that I've got from here and was made while I waited.

Was a bit worried about the weather before I left as it's been pretty crap lately. Turned out ok - only a few wet roads near Otaki.

Coming back, a guy on a new Suzuki M109 sat behind me for a while and we played in the traffic until I turned off to go over the Opiki Road back into Palmy. Had a bit of scare when a cop went past the other way but he kept going. Also saw a guy from my mate's work heading the other way on his Rocket III.

Got back to a nice day in Palmy so grabbed the dog and the mountain bike and headed down to the river. All was going well until when I was on the way back to the car the bolt holding my seat on sheared off! I guess that bolt had finally had enough (after about 14 years) of taking the abuse my body was giving it. The last 2ks back to the car were definetly the slowest!

Friday, September 29, 2006

My First Blog!

Well, this is another new experiment for me. With absolutely no experience of either reading or posting blogs I've decided to dive in.

I'm not sure what's actually going to go on this blog but as I'm a keen biker (check out my website) it's bound to be pretty bike biased.

I guess what you're most likely to see is diary type entries on what I've been up to - especially if it's got to do with bikes. Maybe one day discussions on bike related topics. I'll try to see if I can persuade some other riders I know to stick in there two cents as well.